I’m in Toronto, Ontario taking the four week National Voice Intensive. As of right now – as I am writing this post – I am almost 1 week into the intensive. I feel strange.

I made a pact with myself when I came here. I told myself that I was going to leave my insecurities in Vancouver… and I did. I don’t know how I did it, but for four solid days I was on top of all my self-doubt.

“You’re not good enough.”

“Who do you think you are?”

“Stand back”

“Don’t take up too much room”

Didn’t even enter my mind. Swear to God.

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 1.53.12 PMI’ve felt beautiful. I’ve felt REALLY beautiful (I’ll own that). I’ve felt talented. I’ve felt free to experiment and play in ways I have never played before. I’ve felt and behaved mischievously – purposely making eye contact with people and holding it… just to see what they would do. I point blank said in class that I experienced butterflies during an exercise with another person who I felt an attraction to. Why did I say it? Because that was my experience, and I decided that I wasn’t going to be embarrassed by the sexual side to who I am. So I said it, and it wasn’t awkward because I didn’t make it awkward. And the exercise we did together was more effective because we weren’t holding any part of our selves back.

One of the voice intensive participants told me that I had a ‘beautiful voice.’ No one has every described my voice in that way before. I pretended to be taken aback by his comment, but – actually – I wasn’t. I knew my voice was beautiful, because I felt beautiful.


Four days into the intensive, several members of my class had cried… but I had not. I felt deeply moved by what I was seeing, and I felt emotion starting to build, but to let it go further than that felt like something I would have to push for and I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to push myself into emotion, just to experience a release. I’m not that brave.

In class yesterday, the pact I made with myself came out. I didn’t mean to reveal this pact, but I opened my mouth and I told my class that my insecurities were back in Vancouver. And then they came back like a slap in the face. As soon as I returned to the mat, they were sitting there waiting for me. Somehow I knew they would be there. I felt my stomach drop.


But they were there, and I felt solemn for the rest of the day. Still not like myself, but more like myself. Parts were joining together. I felt discombobulated. I felt good and bad all at the same time.

Is it possible to live without insecurity? Is doubt just part of the human experience? Was leaving my insecurity behind making me less human? And does my human experience need to have both of these experiences present? A balancing act between love and ‘what the fucking shit.’ I don’t know.

I’ve got to get to class now. I don’t know if any of this makes sense. Maybe this is just part of the experience of growth. The letting go of the old as you welcome in the new. Maybe there’s a portion of time when you are not actually completely human. That sounds hilariously ridiculous but I hope someone will resonate and know what I mean.


“I left something important at home during week 1 at the National Voice Intensive” – entry by Christine Bissonnette
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Christine Bissonnette

I'm a spoken word artist and writer originally from Nova Scotia. In addition to my own private writing practice, I also works with adults and teens by facilitating the writing of their own spoken word poetry. Topics which fire me up are voice, perfectionism, and those parts of growth that don't follow a list. You can learn more about me at 9creativelives.com

3 thoughts on ““I left something important at home during week 1 at the National Voice Intensive” – entry by Christine Bissonnette

  • sarahmworden@gmail.com'
    May 28, 2015 at 10:37 am

    Aw Christine, this made me tear up a bit. I hope you get your stride back! You are just as beautiful as you feel, I can affirm that. And I also think sometimes our insecurities are what connect us to reality in a sad way. They help us empathize with the world and see everyone as equals. If someone as beautiful as you can feel down, than imagine the doubt Mother Teresa could have felt! Our insecurities push us further.

    • cmbissonnette@cellamagazine.com'
      May 31, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      Thank you Sarah. That means a lot. I am getting my stride back. This voice intensive has been absolutely incredible for me, and I feel truly blessed to be here. I can’t wait to see you when I get back!

      • sarahmworden@gmail.com'
        June 1, 2015 at 1:03 pm

        So glad to hear! Can’t wait to see you either 🙂

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